The month of October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, an epidemic affecting people of all walks of life, including those in the military. In this week’s edition of Inside the Gates, Local 4’s Emily Scarlett shows us how the Rock Island Arsenal is making sure all victims have the support and resources they need.
“I was worthless, couldn’t do any better. Took me 25 years to unlearn it.”
These are the words of domestic violence victims, explaining why they stayed.
“Divorce is shameful.”
These real-life quotes, found tucked inside purple water bottles, were read aloud, giving victims a voice.
The day began with a “Join the Fight” parade along Rodman Avenue. One man says it is an event he would not miss.
“I try to do as many domestic violence events as I can for awareness, as I can. I lost a sister back in 1999 to domestic violence as she was leaving a bad marriage,” says domestic violence awareness advocate, Bob Quast.
Parade goers marched down the street with people joining in along the way. They had a police escort, too, all while chanting “It’s never okay, it’s never alright. Raise your voice and join the fight.”
Samantha Mathew is a domestic violence victim advocate with the Rock Island Arsenal. She tells Local 4 News, “Having everyone say it collectively just shows the support that we have here on the installation.”
Taking things one step further, many showed their support by signing on the dotted line, and taking a pledge.
This is not all the Arsenal does to support victims.
“We can give them shelter if they need it. If they’re needing resources for clothing because they’ve left, we can do that too,” says Mathews.
Quast says, “It touches everybody from every stage of live, from rich to poor, black to white. It doesn’t know any bounds. It’s something that wasn’t talked about in the past. Nowadays, the whole month of October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and it’s great to see more people helping each other.”